5 Alternative Drinks to Coffee That Can Keep You Awake

 

There are just countless reasons why we all love coffee – it smells like heaven in a cup, it tastes pleasingly bitter, and more importantly, it helps in keeping us awake. But while it may be your favourite morning go-to, drinking coffee regularly also has its own disadvantages. In fact, a research showed that excessive coffee consumption could lead to heightened blood pressure, hormonal acne and even insomnia. So instead of having coffee as your only go-to drink, give the following drink alternatives a shot for when you need some caffeine-free boost.

  1. Matcha

While it’s less caffeinated than coffee, matcha definitely has more than enough caffeine to keep you alert throughout the day – and it’s even packed with powerful antioxidants that help in fighting off the harmful effects of UV rays, giving you youthful-looking skin, and preventing several life-threatening maladies. So if you think that green tea is supposed to help you get better sleep, well, think again.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Perhaps you’ve heard that apples work wonders when it comes to keeping grogginess at bay – but what about the fruit’s liquefied and fermented version? Well, it does the same. Appel cider vinegar is rich in B vitamins and probiotics that can give you your much needed energy boost.

  1. Dark Chocolate Drink

Dark chocolate contains a small dose of caffeine enough to help heighten one’s mental alertness. It also contains theobromine, a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant that may help in boosting the energy levels.

  1. Chai Tea

A hot cup of chai tea is considered by some as an ideal alternative to their usual cup of Joe. Since it’s a black tea blend, chai contains significantly more caffeine than the other tea variants. You may even include a delicious blend of spices on your tea, such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and ginger, to make it tastier.

  1. Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is a potent liquid shot essential minerals, nutrients and vitamins. You may or may not like its taste, but do know that it’s considered one of the most nourishing juices that you’ll ever drink.

While it may be the best drink to keep awake throughout the day, coffee also has its fair share of cons. So keep yourself protected against these drawbacks, by trying out any of these alternative drinks instead. Not only will these drinks improve your alertness, they’ll also help you avoid getting that pesky coffee breath.

Tips for Consuming Alkaline Water

Drinking alkaline or ionized water is highly recommended by doctors and health experts in Singapore. However, not everyone is familiar with this type of water, and even some people who have heard about it are still hesitant to check it out because they don’t know how to properly drink it. Here we’ve gathered some tips on how to consume ionized water in order to maximize its positive effects on your health.

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Know the Levels of Alkaline Water

It’s important to know that ionized water comes in different alkaline levels, and that you need to start at level one (8.5 pH) before going any higher. Many people in Singapore do not know this, and start consuming ionized water in random levels. It’s recommended to start at level 1 for two weeks to see how the water affects your body before going any level higher.

Notice Your Body’s Reaction

Although it’s a much healthier alternative to tap water, alkaline water is not for everyone as it can cause negative effects if your body cannot adjust to it. If you experience stomach troubles or if you just don’t feel refreshed after drinking the water, try drinking a level lower or higher of alkalized water. However, your safest option is to go see a doctor and discuss the problem with him or her.

Drink It with Your Supplements

Who would have thought that drinking ionized water with your vitamins would contribute to the potency of the supplements? We often drink water with our meds just to make swallowing easier. If you are in the know, H2O Life Source produces good alkaline water in Singapore that you can drink from your home. Some even take for soda or coffee to go with their medication. But if you want to get the most of your vitamin supplements, drink it with ionized water.

Drink at the Right Time

It is best to drink alkaline water before and after—not during—mealtimes, especially if your meal contains meat. A good rule of thumb is to drink 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after meals. If you prefer to drink water during meals, squeeze a slice of lemon into the ionized water to add a bit of acid to your alkalized drink. The main reason for this is that during the initial stage of digestion, your stomach needs a more acidic environment to digest food.

Drink Plenty Especially When Ill

When you feel sick, the more important it is to drink healthier type of water. Drinking ionized water will help you recover fast and prevent your illness from getting worse, especially when experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive sweating. When you feel unwell, consuming plenty of water helps your body by:

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• Reducing fever – water helps alleviate body temperature
• Thinning out consistency of secretions – hydration stops secretions from thickening and making them easier to expel
• Rehydrating the body – water helps replenish the lost liquids in the body due to vomiting or diarrhea.

Drink It During Exercise

When working out, our body lose more water due to excessive sweating. To rehydrate the body the right way, drink two glasses of alkaline water 15 minutes before working out and a glass of water every 15 minutes during the session. Drink even more water when working out in a hot environment. Alkaline water is a much healthier substitute to tap water as it helps reduce the effects of lactic acid build-up when exercising. Spring water is usually acidic, while tap water has chemicals that add to the toxic burden of your system.

Some Dos and Don’ts of Drinking Alkaline Water

Dos

1. Drink two to three glasses of ionized water when you wake-up. It wakes your system, flushes out toxins, and prepares the body to take in food.
2. Drink a glass of ionized water before going to bed. We lose internal fluids when we are asleep so it’s important to hydrate before sleeping.
3. Drink a glass of water before taking a bath or having a massage. This helps the body lower blood pressure and release toxins.
4. Sip water throughout the day. Especially when in the office, constantly sipping water helps you focus more on your work.

Don’ts

1. Drink water during meals. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to drink ionized water before and after meals. Drinking during meals will dilute the acid in the body, which is essential for digestion.
2. Wait until you are thirsty before you sip some water. You are already dehydrated if you wait to feel the thirst.
Some Handy Tips to Drink More Water
1. Always bring an alkaline water filter, which comes in a form of tumbler, wherever you go.
2. Consume more fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as watermelon, apples and cucumber.
3. Make drinking water a habit—post reminders in different places.
4. Sip a little every after toilet break. Before going back to your desk, stop by the pantry to chug down a glass of water.
5. Use a water filter that’s marked with ounces or even hours to help you reach your everyday water goal.
6. Keep track with the number of glasses you have finished with the help of free mobile applications like Carbodroid and Daily Water Free. These apps are equipped with alarms to remind you to drink a glass of water on time.

Alkaline water may sound intimidating, but it is highly recommended to be an everyday drink. Though there are some people in Singapore who do not know the importance of correctly drinking this type of water, having the right knowledge and guidance will maximize the health benefits this water has to offer.

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Exercise Guide to Improve Your Heart Health

You don’t need to be a hard-core athlete to improve your heart health. Performing regular moderate exercise is already enough to significantly reduce your risk of developing a chronic illness such as heart disease, as well as improve your endurance, flexibility and strength. While any type and amount of physical activity is beneficial for your overall health, read on to know about the best exercises that would boost your heart health, plus some tips on how to exercise if you have been diagnosed with a heart disease.

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How Long and How Often Should I Exercise

If you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle, then gradually work up to an aerobic session that lasts for 20 to 30 minutes, four times a week. A Singapore cardiologist recommends that you exercise most days of the week. Also, any amount of exercise is good for you but remember to always do it in moderation.

What Should I Do in Every Workout

All of your workout sessions should include a good warm-up exercise, conditioning phase, and cooldown.

• Warm-up: Take it easy for the first few minutes of your exercise to allow your body to get used to being physically active.
• Conditioning phase: This is the main part of your workout session. Simply put, this is when you perform your chosen workout routine.
• Cooling down: You’re already transitioning out of your workout routine. Avoid sitting, standing or lying down right after exercising, or you’ll end up feeling dizzy or having heart palpitations. The best cooldown routine is to ease up the intensity of your physical activity.

What Type of Workouts Should I Do

When it comes to the types of exercise routines you can do, you actually have lots of options. Any activity that makes your heart beat faster counts. Think about what your heart and overall health needs – if you’re looking for an activity that’s easy on your joints but still pumps up your heart, for instance, then consider swimming or walking exercises. Also, think about what workout routines would be fun to do, whether it’s something that you used to do, or an activity that you’ve been dying to try. Here, we’ve listed down some activities that you can try to improve your heart health.

1. Brisk Walking. Whether you rack up the miles on the road or on your treadmill, brisk walking exercise is a natural way to improve your heart and overall fitness. Just make sure you’re wearing comfortable walking shoes and you can now start moving around. A leisurely stroll is already a good exercise (compared to just sitting idly on your couch, anyway), but Singapore health experts like a cardiologist from Harley Street in Singapore suggest that it would be even better to walk at a faster pace for a moderate intensity exercise.

2. Running. Although it’s a bit challenging than walking, running is another heart-healthy exercise that you can do. Running is one of the best ways to burn calories, a great bonus if you’re trying to lose weight to reduce your heart disease risk. If you’re still new to running, experts advise that your start the activity with brisk walking while adding one to two minutes of running after every five minutes of walking. Once you get used to this, increase the minutes of your run until you no longer need to do walks in between.

3. Swimming. The pool is a great place to idle the time away, but you can also use it for a full body exercise. According to a cardiologist Singapore, swimming laps or participating in water fitness classes won’t just tone your muscles and improve your muscular strength, it’ll also raise your heart rate and boost your heart health. Swimming is also a great exercise alternative to walking and running if you’re suffering from joint problems.

4. Cycling. Another great cardiovascular activity that’s easy on the joints, cycling is a low-impact workout that can be done solo in the gym, in a spin class, or on the road. Efficiently use your cycling time by riding your bike to work or when doing some errands. Taking your bike off-road will help you raise your heart beat, tone your lower body, and build strength.

5. Circuit or Interval Training. If performing aerobic exercise straight bores you, try mixing things up. Example: for every three minutes of your cardio workout, perform a minute of strength training or high-intensity cardio. Another good option is to choose 5 to 10 strength training exercises and perform a set of each using lower weight and higher repetitions to raise your heart rate. Doing this type of workout won’t only keep you motivated to exercise, it’ll also improve your endurance, muscular strength and heart health.

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How Hard Should I Exercise

According to Singapore health experts, you’re exercising vigorously if you can no longer say a few words without taking a breath. If you’ve been diagnosed with a heart disease, ask your specialist whether or not you should limit the intensity of your workout sessions. Remember that it’s much better to start taking things easy and working up to more challenging workouts to prevent any injury.

How to Stick With Exercising

• Ban Boredom. One of easiest way to make you stick with working out is to pick various activities that you like and mix them up to create your workout routine. As much as possible, avoid doing the same exercise routine over and over again as that’s what leads to loss of interest in exercising.
• Create Workout Playlists. Make your workout session livelier and more entertaining by creating a workout playlist and using it every time you exercise.
• Learn to Commit. You won’t always feel like exercising, and you’ll surely find all sorts of excuses not to do it, but understand that you’ll need to make a decision ahead of time, ignore those impulses and exercise anyway.
• Exercise within Your Budget. If you’re planning to maintain your workout routine, make sure that you exercise just within your budget. As much as possible, avoid buying expensive health club memberships or expensive equipment unless you’re certain that you’ll use them.

Although exercising really helps in improving our heart health, make sure that you consult your cardiologist Singapore first to ensure that the physical activities you want to do are appropriate for your age, fitness and health condition.

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Here’s Why You Should Avoid E-cigarettes

If you live in Singapore, you know that the selling of e-cigarettes is illegal. The Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is reminding all Singaporeans and visitors to refrain from using such because they will face punishments should they continue it. If you use e-cigarettes, this is the perfect time to stop and abandon its use before it is too late.

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Under the Tobacco Act, any action (importation, distribution or sale) that relates to e-cigarettes  is considered illegal. If you are caught, you will be fined not more than S$ 5,000 for the first offence. For the second offence, you will be fined S$10,000. Imprisonment will follow. E-cigarettes is a device than simulates tobacco.

It is crucial that you know why you should avoid e-cigarettes. Here’s why:

  • Health: The issue of the usefulness of e-cigarettes is not clear. There are agencies that claim e-cigarettes can help the smoker cease from smoking. According to this group, e-cigarette can aid in the cessation of smoking but there are no scientific bases to that. Despite its aid in the cessation of smoking, the fact remains that e-cigarettes are not designed to help smokers quit.

E Cigarettes Become Popular Alternative

  • Safety: There are many people who consider e-cigarettes because it is believed that it contain fewer toxic than the traditional tobacco. These people should not believe in everything they hear without validating. E-cigarette is a form of Nicotine Replacement Product. It can contribute to the health of people but there are no regulations therefore HSA has issued warnings. It is better to be safe than never, right? No studies about the safety of e-cigarettes were made so you should be cautious. 
  • Addiction: The addiction is without a doubt a big issue for smokers. Whether it is the traditional cigarette or the e-cigarette, the experts warn the users that it can be addicted. There are many agencies and countries who expressed their concerns about the use of e-cigarettes and its addictive properties. Instead of cutting down the addiction, e-cigarettes can increase your dependency smoking. 

The legal status of e-cigarettes is relative. This means that not all country prohibits the use of e-cigarettes. Here in Singapore, e-cigarettes resemble tobacco smoking and that is enough reason why it should be prohibited and prevented.

If you know someone who is illegally holding e-cigarettes, you should tell him/her everything he/she needs to know about the legality of such. Any form of smoking should be discouraged because it can cause harm. You should give importance to your health. To be safe, healthy and happy, you should cease from smoking.

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The Things to Know about MERS

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has taken the world by surprise. In Saudi Arabia alone, there are about twenty new cases of MERS confirmed for the past weeks. According to the Health Ministry of Saudi Arabia, as of April 8, 2014, there were about 244 cases of infection with forty nine cases of confirmed MERS. What made it alarming? Out of the 244 cases, seventy six died.

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MERS has no cure. In Saudi Arabia, experts are tracing the origin but the officials said that there are no causes for the sudden rise of MERS. Everyone should be alarmed. Here in Singapore, the Health Ministry and the points of entrance (airport, port and railways) are monitored for possible infection. Singaporeans should not be worried about this.

Even if there are remote chances that you can get infected, it is still important that you know what it is and how to deal with it for your safety and your family. So, here are the things that you should know about MERS:

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  • Virology: MERS is a virus. It belongs to Betacoronavirus genus. There are researchers who studied and believed that the virus is related to Egyptian Tomb Bat. But lately, a researcher from Saudi found out that MERS is related to camels. It doesn’t matter where it came from as long as you are aware of it. Remember that MERS is dangerous. It should be taken seriously.  
  • Origin: MERS is the 6th new type of Coronavirus. You should keep in mind that Coronavirus (and its types) is different from SARS. Unfortunately, it is not yet sure whether the infections are the effect of zoonatic transmissions. MERS is new. 
  • Transmission: In 2013, according to World Health Organization (WHO), the risk of person to person  transmission is very low. However, as of late, WHO warned that the MERS is a danger to the entire world. WHO also stressed that there are no strong evidence that suggest camels are the main source of the infection. In 2014, a study of dromedary camels proved that camels might be the reservoir of MERS.       

That should be enough. You have to keep in mind the things mentioned above for your safety and your family. If you recently travelled in Saudi Arabia, it is important that you let yourself get tested. You have to be tested and if you are positive, you have to stay isolated so you cannot infect other people near you. If you have plans to travel to the Middle East (Saudi Arabia in particular), you have to postpone until further notice. Do not risk your body and expose it to the known danger.

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Clinic Right at Your Doorstep

April 7 marks the World Health Day. Singapore celebrates World Health Day together with the world. This year, Singapore made a breakthrough by launching series of apps that cab permit elderly patients (or their caregivers) to reach their doctors without going to the clinic or experiencing the queue. These mobile applications are the first in Singapore and the world.

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The first app is called Smart Ageing. Borderless Clinic delivers this useful app to the elderly. Other apps include Heartsmart and Health Abacus. This is a big help to the elderly especially that they find going to clinics or hospitals inconvenient. The app will enable the doctors to extend their reach. So, why is the app important? The app can do many things to include:

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  • It helps patients understand cardiac conditions: Cardiac conditions are serious. It can lead to death if it is ignored or neglected. You need someone (or something) that can help you monitor and understand it even more. You have your caregiver but the Smart Ageing will help you contact your physician.
  • Patients can get advice: If you find travelling to the doctor inconvenient, you can always use the app to communicate with your doctor or physician. You can get an advice and answers. You only need to download the application. The mobile application is secured.
  • Patients can ask questions: Apart from soliciting advice, you can ask questions using your app to your doctor. Your doctor will be equipped with tablets and smartphones so they can deliver the answers about the ailments that you inquired.
  • It can monitor blood pressure & blood glucose levels: Aside from making you understand cardiac conditions, the application can also help you understand your blood pressure and blood glucose levels. At the end of the day, doctors will help you monitor it.

The app is available for download. Heartsmart is also available online. If you want to download Health Abacus, you should wait till April 5 before it becomes available. It is crucial that you consider the apps because it makes your live better and easier.

It costs S$12 million to establish the system but it can be the difference between life and death. You should encourage your elderly to download this app. This is more than an application to earn more money. This is about bringing convenience to the elderly and their family. Its convenience and comfort make these applications useful not only for elders but for others as well.

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